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Saturday, May 16, 2009

I left because of you…

This is the first time in my life I’ve been officially accepted into church leadership.

It is kind of strange, because in some ways, not much changes.

I do basically all the same sorts of things I did when I volunteered, just a little bit more so. But I have had a long history with the church.

I have historically had a lot of complaints against the church in general, and often against the church I attended specifically.

I have done my best to ignore issues of preference (music for example) and tried to focus on things that I genuinely believe are heart issues, and even tried to keep those to a very select audience. I know the warnings in the bible against divisiveness.

I think that amongst my generation, I was, in fact, one of those who complained the least about certain petty things. I actually really love a lot of the church. In fact, I would often find myself trying to defend the church and church attendance in general.

But nothing could prepare me for this change in perspective.

One day, I found that a family at our “church” (congregation, gathering, whatever you want to call it) left to another church. And they left because of me.

The issue was there was a certain standard that they upheld at home, and I was organizing youth events, and one of the events we did usurped what they were trying to teach their kids.

Now, if I told you the specific issue, most people would probably be on my side, but that’s not the point. I caused someone to leave. My choices. My leadership.

All this to say, you just don’t know what your talking about, until you come under the scrutiny of leadership position. Imagine some humble, loving people feeling too intimidated by your position and not wanting to talk to you about it, but feel rather that leaving is the answer. It has taught me a lot.

One of the biggest things, is that I hope people would talk to their leaders than about them. I know it can be intimidating, or you may think they don’t have the time, but it is so much more appreciated than just leaving or harbouring feelings.

There may be a day when I offend people for the right reasons. In that day, I hope to be given the grace to stand my ground. But in the meantime, I pray for the humility to ask for forgiveness, and honour those who have come back and celebrate the great gift of Jesus Christ with me.